BACKGROUND: Social innovations can contribute to health and wellbeing. PHIRE (Public Health Innovation and Research in Europe) investigated the impacts at national level of innovation projects funded by the European Union Public Health Programme.
METHODS: Through the European Public Health Association, experts assessed the uptake of the eight public health projects, for 30 European countries. Their reports were assembled by country and, thereafter, national public health associations reviewed the reports. Following stakeholder workshops, or internal and external consultations, 11 national reports were produced which included discussion on the impacts of the public health innovations in national product markets.
RESULTS: In 11 countries, there were reports on the eight innovations for 45 (51%) of the possible public health markets. The innovations contributed positively to policy, practice and research, across different levels and in different ways, in 35 (39%) market, while competing innovation activities were recorded in 10 (11%) markets. The workshops also discussed contributing factors and limitations in dissemination and timing for policy cycles.
CONCLUSIONS: The impacts of European Union social innovations in public health markets can be identified through national discussions. Further attention should be given to understanding drivers and incentives for successful public health innovations.